Dravidians are terrible

The banter continues

Yeah, I’m unironically starting to lose respect for the designers at this point. This weakness was pointed out one year ago. It’s fine to give a little time for testing civs. But then they go ahead and add such a bizarre siege bonus. I still think that they should get rid of that bonus altogether.

Then give redemption to Dravidians. This is such an obvious and useful solution. Why are they complicating this?

If a siege bonus is absolutely necessary, buff the unit, don’t make them cheaper. My suggestion would be to give them 15% extra movement speed. This will help the mangonels run away from knights and dodge opponent’s shots just a bit easier.

It has been over a year since this has been pointed out, the weakness still exists, and it is still just as bad. To be fair, I am not saying that Viper couldn’t have handled that. I can’t predict what the GOAT can do. However, this is still an issue for everybody else.


The reason that the weakness hasn’t been fixed is because the Dravidians are fine. They’re actually quite strong; giving them strong Stable units is over-the-top and affects their identity.

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You are just factually wrong about the first part. They have less than 45% win rate on open maps in the high Elos.

In my opinion, any civ with less than 47% could arguably be buffed. However, less than 45% is egregious for balance and absolutely deserve a buff.

Also, who said anything about giving them strong stable? There’s literally not a single sentence in my entire rant about giving them strong stable.

You can say that Viper can’t handle this, its fair. He makes videos with urumis and other post imp Dravidian military while playing against weaker players than him but loses with them much sooner against players that are at his skill level.

And he dies to the exact unit combination mentioned in this thread. Agree with everything else you’ve mentioned. Redemption, Fervor plus a bonus on siege after its produced is one way of balancing. It would make them an above average closed map civ and not the absolute worst on open.

No they are not. There’s nothing even remotely close to consider them strong. Every civ, bonus in the game has to be considered relative to others. Dravidian bonuses are by no means sufficient to compensate the lack of several important techs and unit lines. They have been one of the worst performing civs in all stats tournament, ladder, play rate, win rate everything. Unless the map requires players to build multiple docks and open navy units, they are a terrible civ.
And btw @filtercoffee488 didn’t mention a single word about giving stable units.
Most people even in the thread have only discussed it as one of the options. Its totally fine to have an abysmal stable as long as you have some alternatives, very powerful ranged units (better than Ethiopians) or great monks (like Aztecs) or a very strong economic lead (like Vikings, Malay) and better than usual siege. Amongst these very strong ranged units or monks could end up making them OP on team games. Imo a raiding unit and strong eco with better siege is the best way to make them usable.


Watching this game, it’s interesting how little the dravidians faster firing skirms come into play. The issue is, good players tend to take VERY brief engagements, one or two volleys, then withdraw. This makes their faster firing almost useless, because at that point, they haven’t fired enough shots to give either side an advantage.

If you watch the game, Viper had more units, more skirms, and yet he wasn’t able to take advantage of that fact, because of the way focus fire benefits the fleeing unit.

A simple buff that could be added without listing anything would be to reduce the frame delay on skirms and elephant archers. That would make them actually better in the earlier parts of the game, where micro plays a much larger role than simply fire rate.

I don’t think Viper had enough time to get redemption in this game even if he could go for it.

Exactly! The reason it worked is because Hera had superior eco behind his army and Dravidians need to do damage in Feudal to compensate for their weak Castle age but going skirm + pike is a defensive army that costs too much for what it does. Only Byzantines can get away with that consistently.

Dravidian skirms could not engage the way you wanted because of the presence of scouts. Scouts counter skirms harder than Dravidian skirms counter generic skirms and spears can be caught out of position. Both players were constantly repositioning their units, so taking an engagement was risky for both.

Focus fire does not benefit the fleeing unit. If the fleeing unit stops to take a shot, it also gives an opportunity to be shot at. Fleeing does neutralize the fire rate bonus.

Frame delay is tied to the animation. For example, Mangudais used to fire arrows before drawing the bow until devs nerfed the frame delay. So, buffing frame delay could make them look really weird as well as having unwanted side effects. Generic skirms are fine for everyone else, only Dravidians have a problem with it. Maybe buff Dravidians instead of ruining global balance?

The decisive moment in that game was when Hera could add a mangonel before Viper. Viper’s resources looked like he was going for a castle but did not have time for it.

My final Dravidians buff suggestion, incorporating other suggestions in this thread:

  1. Skirm and EA fire rate bonus replaced by +1 range in Castle, +1 in Imp for +2 total.
  2. Wootz steel moved to Castle age
  3. New Imp UT: BE gold cost replaced by wood
  4. Urumi charge attack replaced by dodge shield (Like Shrivamsha).
  5. Urumi (elite) normal attack has 50% area damage and damage increased from 8 (10) to 16 (20).
  6. Urumi attack rate reduced from once in 2s to once in 3s (same as spears)
  7. Get access to Redemption, lose access to Block printing
  8. Lose siege discount

Extra range on skirms would help zone out mangonels (like Britons) in situations such as the one Viper faced in the video. The new Imp UT helps Dravidians with their historical identity of having a large elephant army.
The Urumi changes are intended to give them more survivability against ranged units without increasing Pierce Armor (which I find boring) while keeping their blast attack (have not done the math to keep their DPS balanced relative to current, but my changes suggest how it can be done). The dodge shield seems like an appropriate way to do it for the DoI dlc. The dodge shield can be tuned to give Urumis enough survivability to approach siege and other ranged units and get 1 attack off but die soon after that. Thus, their glass cannon identity can be preserved.

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That’s what I meant. If you don’t engage for long enough to fire off at least 3 default skirm shots, the fire rate bonus makes no difference. This could play a large part in explaining why Dravidians fall off so hard at higher skill levels, as they basically lose that bonus entirely.

Well, there’s frame delay, and there’s attack delay. Skirms only have a frame delay of 19, but an attack delay of ~30; IE, they wait a bit before initiating the animation. That delay could be reduced, and it would make very little difference at lower skill levels, while making them quite a bit more potent at higher skill levels.

Yeah, the higher the elo, the weaker faster firing range units become due to micro. But I don’t see Ethiopians Xbow are bad at high elo. Maybe faster firing ranged counter units are bad at high elo.

And because Hera added siege. Pike+Skirms won’t do much against siege. In fact whole Dravidians army are bad against siege. Only way to deal with siege is your own siege. TheViper knows it and rushed SW at the end. But Hera already has Knight with couple of LC to snipe them. Had TheViper added siege a bit earlier, he could have been hold. But this same paragraph can be written in every single Dravidians game. They simply can’t get enough siege before opponent comes with Knight+siege+skirms.

Funny how TheViper laughed at this when he reacted to this thread but Hera beats him with this exact strategy almost every time.

I think current Koreans is also fine. Maybe even Incas with some Eagle to snipe siege.

Yea. Urumi to save the day. 11


That’s the thing though. Who is at his skill level? Hera is possibly the only one, and Hera has only been there for maybe a year. Lierry and Yo are also pretty close, but even taking that into account, you have just 4 players. That’s not enough of a pool to say one way or the other in my opinion.

Yeah, the evidence is pretty conclusive at this point. That’s what is so frustrating about it. Also, this makes fighting dravidians totally uninteresting. It doesn’t matter what your opponent player makes as dravidians. You always go Mangonels, knights and skirms with a few monks.

True, but I don’t judge a civ by one game. I’ve seen and played hundreds of games before forming my opinion.

Only if your opponent goes scouts. Now, that’s pretty common when playing against dravidians and you would be correct there. However, the fire rate is extremely useful otherwise because you get far tighter attacks with stutter stepping. So, if usual skirms need to move, say, 1 tiles after an attack before attacking again, dravidian skirms only need to move 0.75 tiles. This means that after a single volley of attack, dravs can engage faster aftter dodging. It will also let you get an extra volley of javelins if your opponent decides to retreat, in some cases.

This is one of the reasons why pro players consider Dravidians to be so strong against meso civs. Easier militia line + faster firing skirms can be extremely hard to handle for meso civs.

I don’t disagree that it helps in theory, I’m only noticing that it doesn’t seem to actually help in practice. Part of this might be that Pro players have an instinctive grasp of the normal fire rates of units, and in stressful situations, will tend to fall back on those instincts, which will tend to disregard the bonuses that they have.

Which is why it seems to me a reduction in attack delay would be a good change, as it would force these players to play differently, and serve as a constant reminder of the bonuses they have. Plus, of course, it could be rolled into the existing bonuses with no change in the text.

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I don’t think instinct has anything to do with it. Pros adjusted to Ethiopian fire rate. The difference is that with Ethiopian archers, it is worth trying to dodge skirm shots and try to shoot back in some cases, while it is not worth engaging scouts with Dravidian skirms due to minimum range. Pros sometimes even try to micro ethiopian archers into the min range of skirms. No one will engage Dravidian skirms with their own skirms, so they don’t get to do their dodge-attack micro. It is just not worth it, so pros just use scouts. Skirms cannot dodge melee attacks and have min range, so they must flee to minimize damage taken.

In other words, the best counter to ethiopian archers is skirms which can be dodged but the best counter to Dravidian skirms is scouts which cannot be dodged. Thus, Dravidian skirms don’t get to use their fire rate bonus in Feudal (on average). On the other hand Ethiopian archers do decent damage to all melee units, their only counter is skirms, so Ethiopian archers get to use their fire rate bonus.

Another reason Ethiopians get to use their bonus is because archers can kill vills even while dodging and running from enemy units including skirms. Dravidian skirms cannot be used in the same way effectively.

I wonder if part of the reason Dravidians have such a terrible win rate online is because people don’t know how to play them, similar to the Chinese. It’s interesting that many pros know how to make the civ work, whereas most casual players don’t.

Dravidians have one of the lowest win rates in tournaments, and lowest win rates at 1900+

I don’t know why you are trying so hard to say this civ is good when every stat demonstrates otherwise.

Take that with a grain of salt, the same was true at the start of the last patch, but it was just noise, and by the end of the sampling period, its win rates actually went up from the prior patch.

Given they did get a small buff in the price reduction on armored elephants, I’d expect their winrates to ultimately rise slightly this patch, as well.

Even during best periods, it has never been above 46%.

I don’t really think so. After considering everything, I think that the ram line is vastly superior to elephant rams in most cases. This is especially true after the recent patch which buffed rams quite a bit.

Think of it like this, Elephant rams are a more expensive, food costing ram which has a vulnerability to common anti-cavalry units. Also, you cannot garrison other units in them.

If I was designing these, I’d increase the cavalry class armour so high that halbs only get a +5 or +10. I really don’t like how both anti-cavalry AND anti-siege can destroy them. This isn’t a cav archer with a lot of mobility.

The way it is, gurjara ele rams are S-tier, while benglai ones are A-tier.

Also, https://youtu.be/AXmSTuHBl2w?si=hAns30k_cfVClQjk

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Eh, more accurate to say it’s never been over 47%; last patch it was at ~46.7. It’s in the bottom quarter, but by no means the worst.

They have some strengths, too. They’re less weak to villagers, for example. Plus they can be healed by monks. And they’re actually tougher against normal enemies, since they benefit from the armor techs; it takes 12 hits for a ram to die to a knight, but 15 for an armored elephant. And notably, they can be garrisoned, which is something I don’t think is being taken advantage of atm. One armored elephant garrisoned in a castle could repel almost any number of attacking rams.

I do find it a bit odd that they discounted everything BUT their armored elephants, however. As-is, Dravidians are really encouraged to use mangonels especially. It would have been nice if the discount were for wood AND food, but that feels a bit wordy.

On open land maps at high Elo? No. Especially at reasonable sample sizes, it has never been above 46%

This is kinda useless when you are close to a castle. Also, in the earlier game, I’d take a vil repair over monks because it’s far easier to get a vil than a monk. That changes by late castle/early imperial. But who uses rams in imperial age anyway?

Garrison a few pikes inside the ram. That’s kinda the point of that.

Not really true, because 1v1 of a ram and an ele ram is a toss-up. Healing by garrisoning provides an advantage, but 2-3 rams will always kill your ele ram. Also, this is pointless anyway. If you want to take down rams, use mangonels. Not other ##### You are once again proposing strategies which could be useful under certain niche situations, but are suboptimal in every calculated situation.Meaning, you should never make an ele ram to counter opponent’s ram. However, if you already have one and it’s pretty close, you can use it just fine.

I agree, there is no good way to phrase that bonus. Can’t give a gold discount because that’s OP, no general siege discount because slavs have that. So, what can you do…

If you restrict it to specific data sets, sure. Not exactly meaningful data, though.

That’s an interesting question, actually. Do armored elephants block castle fire like rams? Could you use an armored elephant to escort a monk close to the castle? That could provide healing for the elephant AND far more offensive power than a ram+villager combination. I’d test it myself but I’ve got stardew valley open and if I try to run both my computer will combust.

I was pondering perhaps a siege workshop building discount? That could achieve similar results but benefit all the siege workshop units equally.

Heck, maybe roll it into the Barracks bonus. ‘Barracks Technologies and Siege Workshops cost -50%.’

I honestly have no clue how the Dravidians are supposed to be buffed without improving their Stable options. The stuff they can do is actually pretty strong already. The issue is that the stuff they can do is very limited.